In the novel, “A Long Way Gone,” Ishmael Beah suffers from PTSD due to the exposure to war at such a young age and the rehabilitation process. Ishmael was exposed to guns, drugs and other types of violent acts due to the war at the age of 12. As time went by, Ishmael lost his family and slowly his friends too. Ishmael was traumatized from all the violence he experienced due to the war approaching his village. He had been forced by the Sierra Leone Armed Forces to serve as a child soldier during a civil war and “It was not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it.”(Beah,239). The child soldiers “ undressed the prisoners and tied them”(120) up, which led to Ishmael feeling guilty and hopeless in the future. Ishmael started “smoking marijuana …show more content…
Rehab had other child soldiers but not all of them were like Ishmael, some were from the rebels' side. Ishmael’s hate for the rebels was strong, once he shot them on their feet and watched them suffer for an entire day before finally shooting them in the head.”(192). While they fought, “someone came from behind me and sliced my hand with his knife. It was a rebel boy”(164) and Ishmael was beyond reason and wanted the rebels dead. Ishmael and other soldiers weren’t normal boys and “a change of environment wouldn’t immediately make us normal boys.”(164). The withdrawal period was very tough, Ishmael “craved cocaine and marijuana so badly”(167) that he had started to fight for no reason. Ishmael and his friends “beat up people from the neighborhood”(168) and sometimes even “threw stones at them.”(168). Ever since the war, Ishmael had lost his innocence and though he was in rehab, he was getting worse before getting better. The child soldiers have been ruthless and hate the civilians, who have no idea how bad the war has been and though innocent, the boys “kicked him relentlessly and left him lying on the floor bleeding and unconscious.”(169). Though rehab was a terrible process, it was necessary for Ishmael to recover because Ishmael had suffered more than enough trauma for one lifetime and Ishmael had to be taught by the nurses and staff at the
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Ishmael and his friends now travel from place to place to trying to find shelter and other accessories to help them survive. They would take anything to help them survive this war. By the age of thirteen Ishmael was picked up by the government army and then found out he was capable of terrible acts. Ishmael and his friends were in
Ishmael Beah, the memoirist of A Long Way Gone, retells the horrors he experienced during the Sierra Leone Civil War. In his story, he talks about his journey on escaping the war, becoming a child soldier, and recovering from his disturbing childhood. Ishmael was forced to flee after the rebel forces attacked his home. He started out with a few of his friends but eventually separated from them and wandered on his own. After running from village to village, his only chance of survival was to join the rebel army and enlist as a child soldier.
As Ishmael Beah becomes accustomed to the cruel life during war in Sierra Leone, Ishmael learns that ensuring trust within the companions he meets on the battlefield keeps him “human” throughout the duration of the war against the rebels, as is displayed in A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. After Ishmael and his brother, Junior escape from a village Junior whispers quietly, “I do not think that this madness will last ... he looked at me as if to assure me that we would soon go home” (Beah 15).
In Ishmael Beah’s memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Beah decides to write about his time as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone. When he made the decision to publish his story, Beah was trying to tell three main messages to his readers. He was first attempting to get the message out to the world that conflict in Sierra Leone was a serious issue, given that at the time that he wrote his book, most Americans couldn’t even locate Sierra Leone on a map; he also tried to show how human nature can cause people to do uncharacteristically terrible things in desperate situations. Finally, Beah was also trying to portray the message that despite the immense, grief, guilt, anger, and pain that people can feel after being affected by a violent situation, a person can always be healed, if enough work is put into helping them, no matter how damaged that
In the text, Ishmael is faced with having to fight in the war starting at only 12 years old. Along the way, he finds other boys the same age as him or even younger. Ishmael faces the struggle of losing his family and his sense of safety in the war. Ishmael lost many things whilst being in a war, one of which being his family.
Most people assume that their lives are constant from day to day, the same routine goes to school or work, some afternoon activities and so on. But what most of us don’t imagine is that we are so close to the edge, tragedies that seem foreign to us appear from nowhere and turn our lives upside down. In long way gone, a story of a child soldier named Ishmael Beah, many tragedies, events has bestowed upon him, and he to choose to die or survive. These tragedies have transformed him from innocent child to ruthless child soldier to rehabilitate adult with the scars of war that destroyed his country.
War is a terrifying occurrence to be a part of but for most people, it is not part of their daily lives, and only know of it from history books and movies; But in Some countries, war is a part of people's daily lives. In his nonfiction memoir, Ishmael Beah develops his purpose to educate people on how war is not as cool as it seems through the use of being numb to emotion and drugs. Numbness to emotion is prominent in the novel. Ishmael has become a child soldier for the government and is now getting ready to kill a prisoner they captured. Ishmael writes, “The corporal gave the signal with a pistol shot and [he] [grabs] the man's head and slit his throat…” “...
This army that he is in becomes totally addicted and brainwashed, they do lots of drugs and believe the only way to avenge their family's deaths is kill the other side. These drugs they used were marijuana, cocaine and “brown brown”, which all “helped them” have the courage they needed to fight in war. Ishmael was a soldier for a while before he was then given to UNICEF, or United Nations Children's Fund, which then brought him to a rehabilitation center. Ishmael has lots of troubles when it comes to recognizing and accepting his past, or being able to conceptualize what the future might look like. He meets a nurse Etser at this rehabilitation center, which allows him to open paths, accept and forgive what he has done within the past, and have a better understanding of his
One day he was fighting for fun and stealing to survive. Next he was expected to talk about his feelings and make new friends. During their first months in rehabilitation, Ishmael and other boys were constantly in fights. He struggled to adjust to the real world and normal human interaction, after he was a child soldier for two years of living a horrible
In the book “A long way gone” Ishmael Beah takes us on a journey through his rough childhood. He was 12 years old and just like other boys living in Sierra Leone at the time, at the age of 13, he became a child soldier. In his journey to escape the war. he had lost and gained people. Running from the rebels, and being taken in by villagers mistaking him and his friends for rebels, he finally made it to Yele.
In the memoir A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah, Beah writes about his childhood to teen years being an unwilling child soldier in Sierra Leone and living through times of great tragedy and war. Ishmael was born in Sierra Leone in 1980 and he moved to the United States in 1998 where he finished high school at the United Nations International School in New York. Ishmael went to Oberlin College. He is also a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Watch Rights Division Advisory Committee. He has spoken in front of the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO), and many other NGO panels on how children are affected by war.
In the book, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Ishmael becomes a child soldier at the age of 12 for the governmental team the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, in order to fight the Revolutionary United Front. Ishmael goes from being a regular kid who liked to spend time with his friends
In Ishmael Beah’s memoir ‘a long way gone’, Beah describes his experience as a child soldier. A deep message that Beah conveys is that “children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings if given the chance”. During Beah’s journey as a child soldier, he commits multiple graphic acts under the influence of drugs, such as demanding that prisoners dig their own graves, then burying them alive (151). This event shows how far gone mentally Beah
Throughout the book, A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, violence is a predominant theme. Ishmael is a witness to violence at the early age of twelve when the civil war reaches his village in Sierra Leone. The death of his family, the loss of his childhood/ innocence and his transformation into a killer were all direct results of the violence due to the war. The rebel forces killed Ishmael’s mother, father, brother and grandparents during the war.
Ishmael says, “I wasn’t sure whether he was unconscious or dead. I didn’t care” (Beah 135). Ishmael is no longer in the war, yet the violence and numbness to it continues. The hell from war made its way into a normal life for Ishmael. He will never be the same Ishmael from before the war.